It has been reported that the movement known as “OCCUPY XYZ” has decided to have a major rally in downtown ST. Petersburg. They will “occupy” St. Pete to demand “something” to solve all the “greed” somewhere. Problem is that they are breaking the law. There is an ordinance in ST. Petersburg (21-31 below) that REQUIRES a permit for any event that is EXPECTED to draw 50 or more individuals to a city park. Yet, the Occupy ST. Petersburg group – whoever they are – has NOT applied for a permit though the Times reports they expect at least 86 people there. Well, I have applied for a permit to prove it can be done or see if it gets denied for arbitrary reaons.. Let’s see if it is granted since it usually takes 15 days to grant – unless the supervisor decides it doesn’t need a 15 day wait time and can decide on their own to grant a permit. Either way, this law abiding citizen knows how to apply for a permit. It is obvious that the “Occupy ST. Pete” crowd have active disdain for the rule of law. They have a news story in the St. Pete Times and a Facebook page calling for people to come. But no signs of obeying the law that everyone has to live under. So much for respecting the rule of law and equal justice.
THIS IS WHAT A LAWFUL CITIZEN DOES TO GATHER PEOPLE FOR A RALLY: Files for a permit. Will the Mayor allow this group of “occupiers” to flaunt the law and then make the rest of us comply?
But wait, maybe these folks don’t know what that means and figure that no local government would have the “nerve” to demand they comply with the law like everyone else. The problem is, they are probably right. I called the head of public events for the Police department today and was told they do not ask people for their permits. They indicated there was no way to file a complaint with them relating to someone breaking this ordinance. City officials tell me they have “no way” of figuring out who to cite. Well, if there is a facebook page, can subpoenas not be entered to get that info from Facebook? Maybe a better idea is t merely look at all the activity on the Facebook page and see that people like “Dan Moore” tagged fliers that were created for this event. That sort of posting information and calling people to attend is enough to issue a citation to an organizer for holding an event in St. Petersburg without a permit. That is if the city wanted to apply the law equally so we lived under the Rule of Law and had equal justice.
The great irony is that when this reporter was organizing rallies like this for the “Cut Taxes Now” movement, permits were required. I got them. I was told I would be fined if I didn’t or we would be asked to leave if we had no permit (I wanted to go to North Straub Park).
So there are only two actions that the city can take here:
- Locate and fine the individuals who show up for the rally on Saturday without a permit.
- Repeal the ordinance requiring a permit so we all can enjoy the option of calling together a large group of people at the last minute and gather any where we want.
For, if the city refuses to take any action, I will hold a non-permitted rally at a city park and challenge the authorities to fine me. I will then have a cause of action against the city for discriminating against me in the application of the law. Some people think that a law-abiding citizen like me who answers to a higher moral authority would never knowingly break the law to make a point. However, those people should know that since I answer to a higher authority – the Natural Law established by God – I am well within my rights to point out the hypocrisy of the city leaders by ignoring these laws that they say only apply to good citizens like myself.
21-31 “No person shall engage in any of the following activities in a park unless a park permit for the activity has been issued by the POD:
(1) Sell or offer for sale any goods or services.
(2) Conduct or participate in any recreational, athletic, entertainment, cultural or social event, program or activity, or any other public or private gathering, intended for or which can reasonably be expected to draw an attendance of 50 or more individuals. Examples of events, programs, activities and gatherings that require a park permit include picnics, parties, food distribution activities, meetings, football and baseball games, speeches, rallies, demonstrations, and performances, if such events, programs, activities and gatherings are intended for or can reasonably be expected to draw an attendance of 50 or more individuals.
(3)Post any sign, banner or advertisement. (4) Use a loudspeaker, public address system or amplifier. (5) Use a generator.